Steelseries Arctis 5 vs 7 – Gaming Headset Comparison

SteelSeries makes some of the best gaming headphones that you can buy for a reasonable price. Here we are going to look into two of the best options that you can buy right now.

The biggest difference between these two headsets are that the Arctis 7 is a wireless headset and the Arctis 5 is a wired one. So you can pick the one that you need. Both headsets work with pretty much any device.

Both of these headphones have similar designs and features. Even the audio and mic quality is similar. The major difference is that the Arctis 7 is wireless while the Arctis 5 is not. The wireless nature of Arctis 7 makes it a bit heavier and more expensive. So keep that in mind when deciding between the two.

Comparison of the Steelseries Arctis 5 and Arctis​ 7

The following are some of the basic features of both these headsets that you might be interested in learning about at a glance:

 SteelSeries Arctis 7SteelSeries Arctis 5
TypeWirelessWired
Surround Sound SupportYesYes
MicRetractableRetractable
RGB LightingNoYes

Now that we know about the basic features of both these headsets, we can move on and look at each one in-depth. The following is what you need to know about these headsets.

Steelseries Arctis 5 vs 7

SteelSeries Arctis 5

The SteelSeries Arctis 5 is an impressive headset for the price keeping in mind that you can pick it up for less than $100. It is priced similar to the Logitech G433 and HyperX Cloud 2. The body is very light and the headset is made of plastic. The matt coating looks nice and I am sure that other people are going to appreciate it as well. Under the headband, you have the adjustable fabric which comes in multiple colors and designs and can be customized according to your style or setup.

The earcups are comfortable and feel nice against the skin. On the left side of the headset, you have the mic mute button which sticks out and is easy to press. A red LED lights up on the mic when it is muted. You also have a volume week, a micro USB port and the 3.5mm jack.

The mic is impressive but you do get some minimal digital noise in some cases. Note that the mic is still going to be on even when it is retracted. You do need to mute it manually. The mic is sensitive and you will need to keep it away from the mouth. Any kind of handling that you do with it will be picked up and whoever is on the other end will hear it.

Wired Gaming Headset

  • Impressive sound
  • RGB lighting
  • Competitive price

Inside the box, the headset comes with a USB sound card which also acts as a chat audio mixer. This will come in handy if you use Discord or other applications for communication when gaming. The headphones support all kinds of different devices but the RGB lighting is going to use the USB connection so you are not going to get the RGB lights when using the headset with devices such as a smartphone.

The thin RGB strips around the earcups are uniform and the SteelSeries logos on each side light up as well. You cannot turn off the logo RGB lights which is a bit of a bummer but the lights are nice and bright and look great. The lighting can be configured with motion effects in the software settings.

The sound is clear and the base is fine and you hear all kinds of different sound cues that you might rely on when gaming. It works fine when listening to music or consuming content in general. The spacial detail is very impressive and that can give you an edge in competitive games. The surround sound option is there but we do not recommend it as the sound gets muffled. With the feature off you will not be able to differentiate between the different audio elements and you could even call it a soup of audio.

SteelSeries Arctis 5 features

There are some software issues that occur rarely. There is the volume glitch in which you will have everything turned up but you will not hear the audio as loud as it should be. The USB hub at times does not pick up the headset and you need to restart your PC in order to get it to work again. These are software issues and can be fixed in an upcoming firmware update. It is worth mentioning that these issues are not common and happen rarely.

Pros

  • Impressive sound
  • RGB lighting
  • Competitive price
  • Plenty of features
  • Great stereo audio

Cons

  • Disconnection from USB hub requiring user to restart system
  • Rare volume glitch
  • Surround sound muffles audio detail

SteelSeries Arctis 7

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is one of the best wireless headsets that you can buy right now for the price. The competing brands like Logitech and Razor do offer similar products but the pricing is not the same. The Arctis 7 does not have RGB lighting but that can be seen as a good thing as it means that you will get better battery life.

On the sides, you have plaster earcups with rubber coating. At the top, you have the headband which is made of metal, unlike other headphones that feature a plastic headband. The self-adjusting fabric under the headband is removable, has some flex to it and can be customized as well.

Inside the earcups, you have the soft foam that will wrap around your ears. It is soft and comfortable but the foam might not be deep enough for everyone. This model is slightly heavier than the Arctis 5 or the Artics 3 because it is wireless. It has to house the battery and other wireless components.

Wireless Gaming Headset

  • Wireless convenience
  • 20 hours of battery life
  • Impressive signal strength and range

While the width adjustment is great you do not have a lot of flexibility when it comes to height adjustment and that can be an issue if you have a larger head. The one-size-fits-all design might not suit everyone and the headband does not have a lot of padding. Leaving the headset around your neck can be uncomfortably tight and taking them off when they are not in use is going to be much better.

The mic can be retracted but it does not have a lot of flexibility. It is always on but can be muted with a button on the headset. A red LED light glows when the mic is muted so you can easily tell whether or not your teammates can hear you.

SteelSeries claims that this is the best mic on a headset but that is certainly not the case. It can and will pick up the noise of your keyboard especially if you have a mechanical one. I will say that the mic is clear and much better than some other options that are available on the market in 2019.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 features

The headset comes with a hub with an LED light and headphone and microphone jack. The light stays on when the headset is on and it will blink if the headset is pairing. You can connect your speakers to the hub and they will automatically work when the headset is off and the speakers will turn off when the headset is turned on.

The stereo sound of the headset is very impressive indeed and while you also have the surround sound option, it is not something that we recommend for competitive gaming as it does muffle different sound cues that you might rely on when gaming. The bass is a bit weak as compared to other headphones, which is not an issue for gaming but if you are going to use his headset for music as well then you might be a bit disappointed.

The headset comes with a micro USB to 3.5mm cable which can be used to plug it into your smartphone or any other device like the Nintendo Switch without having to turn it on. The range is pretty impressive and the sound is clear with minimal interruption up to 6 meters. The signal can even pass through walls.

The battery life is decent. You get around 20 hours of continuous use and then the LED warning light will start to light up. You cannot see the battery life percentage in the software which is a cool feature that SteelSeries should look into. The headset does turn off on its own when not in use in order to preserve battery but you have to turn it on manually every time you turn the PC off. An automatic connection when the hub turns on would have been appreciated.

Pros

  • Wireless convenience
  • 20 hours of battery life
  • Connection hub
  • Impressive signal strength and range

Cons

  • Connection with hub is not automatic
  • No battery life percentage or indicator
  • Surround sound option muffles audio detail

SteelSeries Arctis 5 or 7 – Which Headset Should You Get?

Both the SteelSeries Arctis 5 and Arctis 7 are great headsets.

The Arctis 7 is a wireless headset while the Arctis 5 is a wired headset. Both have decent audio quality as long as you are using them in stereo mode. It all comes down to whether you want the RGB lighting or wireless convenience.

Yeah, I know, this is something that has been brought up before by competitive players. However, I was very surprised with how flexible and unnoticeable the cable was, it almost feels like using a wireless mouse.
SteelSeries Arctis 5 or 7

Wired headphones can be used at any time but you need to charge wireless ones in order to use them. That might not be a problem if you are only going to use them for gaming but if you use wireless headphones with other devices and listening to music then keeping them charged can be a problem.

The Arctis 7 headset does not come with RGB lighting in order to conserve battery life as much as possible.

If you are interested in getting a pair of wireless headphones then you should go with the Arctis 7. If you would rather save some money and get wired headphones then the Arctis 5 is the option to go with. Plus you also get the very nice RGB lighting with the cheaper wired option.

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Alex West

Alex is a gaming enthusiast with over 15 years of experience, especially enjoying competitive video games. When he's not gaming or watching e-sports he likes to write about gaming and hardware.

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